Drew Bremer K’17 was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich. where he played soccer his whole life before coming to Kalamazoo College. Since coming to K, his life has changed in many ways academically, socially and athletically.
Starting in the fall of 2015, Bremer began playing forward for the US Paralympic National Soccer Team. “I really love playing soccer, and this opportunity was really an honor I just appreciated so much,” said Bremer.
Bremer plays midfield on the Kalamazoo College varsity soccer team. This past season, fall 2015, was his first with the varsity team after he walked on in the summer. He helped the team in a variety of ways, inspiring work ethic, boosting team morale and contributing two shots in three appearances this season.
His eligibility for the US Paralympic National Soccer Team comes from him being born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy that affects his right side in a minor way. Despite being born with this adversity already attached, he has overcome adversity time and time again in his life.
After following the US Women’s National Team during the most recent World Cup, he saw the Paralympic Team’s twitter page and decided to email the coach. Head Coach Stuart Sharp promptly called Bremer and invited him to the team’s training camp in Carson, Calif. This was just the beginning of the journey for Bremer.
“When Drew left for Cali, we [his friends] were obviously hoping for the best, but when he came back to K and told us he got invited back, that was awesome,” said Andrew Laverenz K’17. Laverenz is one of Bremer’s closest friends.
Since his initial attendance at the US Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Bremer has also been to two separate training sessions at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. and at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
While these training trips often come during the school year and often last for several days, his professors have been very understanding and supportive. With the support of the entire campus community, from professors, to his soccer coaches, to his teammates and his closest friends like Laverenz, Bremer is really enjoying himself.
“This whole thing has been amazing. I love training with the team, I love just playing, and I mean all the free US gear isn’t too bad itself,” said Bremer.
Next for Bremer is just getting through this cruel Michigan winter, counting down the days until his next training session on April 27th in Atlanta, Ga. It will be the team’s final training session before they head to Salou, Spain this summer for a tournament. These training camps and Spanish tournament are all in preparation for the Rio Paralympics this summer, where Bremer will again be representing the US internationally.